I think adding a way to approve/reject low-reputation users' images would be a nice addition to the StackOverflow feature set.

Right now, when attaching images for a low-rep user, I have to edit the question, copy the URL to a new tab, make sure it's not spam, and attach the image.

Maybe allowing new users to normally link an image but giving an orange flag box saying Your image will be hidden until approved?

A typical scenario:

enter image description here

  • 6
    Hmm, are there any known cases of porn in question/answer? (No, I do not want to look at these images, I'm just curious if there are (were) such posts)
    – genesis
    Nov 8, 2011 at 14:45
  • I have yet to stumble upon one. But I'm just adding that in for literary effect ;)
    – Blender
    Nov 8, 2011 at 14:47
  • Not AFIAK (but we had one user post a M.SO question on why the profile field doesn't filter images, only after putting a slighty NSFW image into the field). I'm trying to find the link (possibly question deleted) but there tends to be very little NSFW material posted. On the main sites, anyway - chat is another kettle of fish.
    – tombull89
    Nov 8, 2011 at 15:11
  • Sorry for the confusion. I used that as an example. Replace it with "unwanted images" if you will.
    – Blender
    Nov 8, 2011 at 15:20
  • 2
    Not actually related, but the comments reminded me and it's kinda funny: Mysterious Butt (yes, that link is to a question on MSO).
    – Pops
    Nov 8, 2011 at 16:27
  • 1
    This meta post on Electronics shows a need for this functionality: meta.electronics.stackexchange.com/a/2674/3525
    – Rory Alsop
    Feb 15, 2013 at 16:49
  • 1
    Similar proposal: meta.dsp.stackexchange.com/q/195/29
    – endolith
    Mar 6, 2013 at 21:33
  • 1
    Related posts on Graphic Design: here and here
    – JohnB
    Aug 8, 2013 at 3:44

2 Answers 2


We examined this issue and decided that on most sites, the restriction is doing more harm than good. The restriction has therefore simply been removed on all sites except Stack Overflow, Server Fault, Ask Ubuntu and Super User. We may revisit this list if we notice, or the moderators inform us of, unexpected issues.

The default for newly created sites is that this restriction is off – i.e., that new users are allowed to post images unless we specifically decide to reinstitute the restriction.

The privilege wiki has been updated to remove any mention of images in the "remove new user restrictions" privilege.

  • Is this also valid for guest accounts?
    – Dan
    Sep 5, 2013 at 16:51
  • 1
    @Dan Yup! Unregistered accounts should be able to post images. Let us know if you run into any trouble with it.
    – hairboat
    Sep 5, 2013 at 16:55
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    This is a huge change and improvement for sites like Gardening & Landscaping and Home Improvement. Thank you!
    – Niall C.
    Sep 18, 2013 at 14:42
  • We've had one user abusing it on DIY: diy.stackexchange.com/users/15160/…
    – BMitch
    Sep 18, 2013 at 14:57
  • 2
    @BMitch Let us know (ping someone in TL, email us, whatever) if they keep cropping up and we can take further action.
    – hairboat
    Sep 18, 2013 at 14:58
  • I am able to post images as anonymous user in stackoverflow. I think the restriction is removed in all sites and you have to update your answer.
    – Praveen
    Apr 15, 2014 at 10:11
  • @Praveen status-norepro. You have to be logged in to post a question, and we just tested posting an answer anonymously - no images allowed. The system is behaving as I described.
    – hairboat
    Apr 15, 2014 at 15:39
  • 1
    @AbbyT.Miller I have uploaded an image as anonymous user for this question(by hitting the improve this question). You can check this suggested edit but sorry for doing this.. I think I have conveyed correctly, let me know if not clear.
    – Praveen
    Apr 15, 2014 at 16:06
  • 2
    Ah, yes - thanks for the clarification. Anonymous users can add images to suggested edits, but not original posts. That's by design.
    – hairboat
    Apr 15, 2014 at 17:11
  • 1
    Now that we have Triage on Stack Overflow, perhaps the restriction should be lifted and the question sent into Triage. It will save me the trouble/aggravations of fetching the image from sites that make it hard to save images locally by doing clever things like intercepting mouse clicks over the image to serve ads.
    – user173448
    Dec 25, 2014 at 4:01
  • Related on Stack Overflow (which was poorly received): Please block links to imgur and flickr.
    – user173448
    Dec 25, 2014 at 4:02
  • 1
    There's been a stream of straight up porn from a 1-rep troll on Chem.se today. The posts that were detected are gone, but they left a permanent scar on at least 6 people each, and I don't know if we missed any. They also linger on stack.imgur.com and I'm worrying a little if imgur is going to complain. Dec 4, 2016 at 15:50
  • 3
    @JanDvorak: If you (or a mod) send links to us (via the contact form) we can remove them from Imgur. I wish there was something we can do to remove them from people's memories. If this becomes a regular problem on the network, we'll have to reconsider giving the privilege to new users. (There are also a few things we can do to slow down a persistent troll. Let us know if this one comes back.) Dec 5, 2016 at 18:09

As I understand it, the new user restrictions are in place to reduce spam, not to prevent porn (though that is also desirable).

Rather than making a whole new feature just for images from new users, how about changing the behavior of the existing feature?

Currently, the new user restrictions are revealed to the user through a banner stating that they can't do that. The user has to remove the content before being allowed to post the question or answer. This leads to good users with good questions linking to images on other hosts instead of attaching them via the image uploader, obfuscating URLs, and asking for edits. Then, editors like Blender need to come in, upload the links, un-obfuscate the URLs, and then the post is ready. Hopefully, it hasn't attracted downvotes for the formatting yet. This does limit some spam, but is less than ideal.

Instead of this mechanism, how about stripping the restricted content from the post, and suggesting an edit with the diff? This would not only ease the task of the editors but also allow new users to post great first questions and answers.

The current "Your suggested edit will not be visible to others until it is approved" banner could be amended to "Your [link[s]] [and] [image[s]] will not be visible to others until [they are|it is] approved" for this system.

  • 3
    That's what I was referring to. It would make moderation a bit more streamlined, as the image approval flags could be merged into the suggested edits pile.
    – Blender
    Nov 8, 2011 at 15:08
  • @Blender - Right, I didn't see any reference to 'suggested edits' in your proposal, so I wanted to cement that methodology. The last thing we need is yet another queue to check. Nov 8, 2011 at 15:14
  • Plus, with the arrival of an 'images' category in the reviews, the queue will be a hell of a lot more interesting!
    – Dan Hanly
    Sep 5, 2013 at 16:14
  • Now that we have Triage, perhaps the restriction should be lifted and the question sent into Triage. It will save me the trouble/aggravations of fetching the image from sites that make it hard to save images locally by doing clever things like intercepting mouse clicks over the image to serve ads.
    – user173448
    Dec 25, 2014 at 4:00

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